What happens when you are aware almost 24/7 of sensory input; the delicious aromas, succulent, savory flavors, sonic waves, tickling touch, and eye pleasing inner and outer visions? How about if you are willingly to be at the beck and call of The Muse who keeps you on your toes, awakens you at all hours, promising untold (until you tell them) treasures that you can share with anyone willing to listen or read? You can shut it out, with fingers in ears, chanting “Nah, nah, nah, I can’t hear you,” like a little kid who doesn’t want to listen to what Mommy or Daddy are saying. You can hide under the covers, since every child knows that if they can’t see you, you can’t see them,. OR you can open your eyes, heart, mind and arms wide and take it all in. I have mostly always been in the third category, but admittedly have been in the first two when I just didn’t wanna break my stride and slow down long enough to put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard. Now, doing either or both is such a treat that I am helpless to resist.
It is a lovely occupational hazard to discover that every thought is potential grist for the writing mill. My writing writes me and has no filters at first and no compunction at all with regard to interrupting an activity or conversation to inform me that I need to stop what I am doing and get the words down on paper. Since I am so busy with the patchwork quilt/multi-faceted schedule that I maintain, when inspiration comes to call, I need to literally stop what I am doing and ‘take dictation’. I call myself God’s Typist at times.
In her TED Talk, Elizabeth Gilbert (Eat, Pray, Love) posits the same ideas; that those of us who are creative types, may have no choice but to be carried aloft on the wings of words. She shares a story about the musician Tom Waits and what happened when he didn’t have the wherewithal to jot down his thoughts.
Rule of thumb for this willing wordsmith and anyone else who aspires to be so: always carry paper, pen, crayon, marker or iphone since you never know where inspiration will come to call and you want to be sure to be home when it does, to answer the bell and let it in.